Mac-Hi boys show some spunk, but can't complete comeback

The Pioneers fight back from a 12-point halftime deficit, but La Grande recovers for a 51-41 GOL win.

Advertisement

MILTON-FREEWATER — Mac-Hi fought back from a 12-point halftime deficit here Friday night in the Greater Oregon League boys basketball opener.

Zach Conlee’s putback pulled the Pioneers within 35-33 with 6:40 to play.

La Grande’s Eyler Aldrich answered with a three-point play to ignite a 12-0 Tiger run before Mac-Hi could stem the tide.

The Tigers went on to post a 51-41 win.

Nick Stanford gave the Pioneers a 2-0 lead before any time ticked off the clock. The Tiger bench was assessed a technical for a rule violation, and Stanford hit both technical free throws.

But that was it as the Pioneers would not score again in the first period.

An Aldrich bucket tied it at 2-2 with 5:38 left in the first. Moments later, Zach Nice drained a trey for a 5-2 Tiger lead, and La Grande never relinquished the lead.

The Tigers ran a patient offense to shoot 7-of-14 from the field in the first half. The Tigers built an 11-2 first-quarter advantage into a 25-13 halftime lead.

"We struggled in the first half trying to put points on the board," Mac-Hi coach Nick Ellis said. "And they were very patient."

The Pioneers didn’t stay down for long.

Stanford dished to Chris Brown for a bucket and then to Kendall Brown and Mac-Hi was alive, down 25-17 with less than a minute gone in the second half.

The Pioneer attack rattled the Tigers into eight third-quarter turnovers and got the Tiger bench hit with another technical with 32 seconds left in the quarter.

Stanford drained both shots to narrow the gap to 32-29. The eighth Tiger turnover gave Conlee time to beat the buzzer with a 12-foot baseline jumper, and the Pioneers were down 32-31 at the end of three.

"We played really well in the third quarter," Ellis said. "We played much better at the offensive end."

Ryan Tooke, who hit 3-of-6 from behind the arc for the Tigers, connected for a 3-pointer to give La Grande a 35-32 lead with 6:30 left.

Conlee cut it to 35-33 before the Tigers went on their decisive run.

"We had two or three missed chances on the offensive end in the fourth quarter," Ellis said. "Then they would go back and capitalize. And all of a sudden, they are back up with a double digit lead again. That’s too big of a hole in the fourth quarter against a team of that caliber. We just couldn’t overcome that again."

Kendall Brown got the Tiger run stopped with a bucket at the 3:42 mark and another with 3:20 left to get Mac-Hi within 47-37.

Following a Stanford trey, the Pioneers got as close as 47-41 with 2:30 to play, but would get no closer.

Aldrich with 14 and Tooke with 13 led the Tigers to the win.

Stanford led Mac-Hi with 14 points and Will Riley and Kendall Brown each chipped in seven as Mac-Hi drops to 0-1 in GOL play.

"The kids played hard," Ellis said. "They worked their butts off on defense. It’s by far the best game we’ve played."

The Pioneers traveled to Riverside Saturday for a non-league battle.

LA GRANDE (51) — Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Nice 2-4 0-0 5, Yundt 1-2 0-0 2, Tooke 4-12 2-2 13, Mills 0-2 2-2 2, Chandler 2-4 0-0 4, Aldrich 5-6 4-6 14, Townsend 3-6 5-5 11. Totals 17-36 13-15 51.

MAC-HI (41) — Knight 1-3 0-0 3, Stanford 4-13 4-4 14, Croghan 2-5 0-0 4, Riley 3-9 1-2 7, Flores 0-0 0-0 0, Salazar 0-0 0-0 0, Conlee 2-4 0-0 4, C. Brown 1-6 0-0 2, K. Brown 3-10 1-2 7. Totals 16-50 6-8 41.

La Grande 11 14 7 19 — 51

Mac-Hi 2 11 18 10 — 41

3-point goals —La Grande 4-9 (Nice 1-2, Tooke 3-6, Mills 0-1), Mac-Hi 3-9 (Knight 1-2, Stanford 2-4, Croghan 0-1, Riley 0-1, C. Brown 0-1). Total fouls—La Grande 9, Mac-Hi 17. Fouled out—Mac-Hi (Riley). Technical fouls—La Grande (Bench 2). Rebounds—La Grande 35 (Tooke 8, Townsend 8), Mac-Hi 21 (Conlee 5, Stanford 5). Turnovers—La Grande 24, Mac-Hi 16. Assists—La Grande 6 (Townsend 3), Mac-Hi 10 (Stanford 4).

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment